If you would like to change the look of your smile, you may be considering multiple cosmetic dental applications. Unlike restorative dentistry, which is used to repair the teeth and gums, or preventive dentistry, which is used to avoid dental damage, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of the mouth.
Here are a few cosmetic dental applications that can be used to transform the look of your teeth.
Removable dental stains can be bleached from the teeth using peroxide-based teeth-whitening products. The products are applied to the tooth enamel to remove stains.
Although the tooth enamel may appear to be one solid, uniform material, it is actually porous. As you eat or drink, the colorants in the ingested items become trapped in the pores of the enamel. These pigments build up over time, causing the teeth to become progressively discolored.
The accumulation of food-based stains is considered reversible. However, some types of dental discoloration, such as those caused by trauma or birth defects, are permanent and must be covered to achieve whiter teeth.
When the discoloration is irreversible, the dentist may apply dental veneers or crowns to conceal the dark tooth material. Crowns and veneers that are made of resin or porcelain can be applied in shades that are whiter than the whitest natural tooth enamel.
Veneers may correct dental discoloration. However, the devices can also be used to correct other cosmetic dental issues, such as cracked, chipped, and misshapen teeth. A veneer, which is applied to the front surface of a tooth, hides the imperfections of the covered surface.
Veneers can even be used to correct the appearance of teeth that are slightly misaligned. Although the veneers do not change the placement of the teeth, they can make the term appear straighter.
To accommodate the veneers, a portion of the tooth enamel must be removed. Thus, since the treated teeth are permanently altered for the application, dental veneers are considered permanent.
Clear plastic aligners are applied to move the teeth into a straighter alignment. However, instead of using an archwire, brackets, and elastic bands to reposition the teeth, clear aligners use transparent mouth trays.
The trays are fashioned from a mold of the oral cavity and progressively move the teeth into the desired position. Multiple trays are used during the treatment process and are worn in a preset order. The patient wears each set of trays for a couple of weeks and then progresses to the next set in the series.
To learn more about cosmetic dental applications, schedule a consultation with a local dental clinic like AQ Denture and Dental Implant Center.